The world’s last remaining male northern white rhinoceros died yesterday at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya, of age-related complications. During the last 24hrs of his life, the northern white rhino named “Sudan” became unable to support his own weight and was suffering to such an extent that a team of veterinary doctors from Ol Pejeta, The Kenya Wildlife Service and the Dvůr Králové Zoo (Czech Republic) elected to euthanase him.
Hundreds of people took to Twitter to offer their condolences, with many cautioning that there are now only two northern white rhino’s left in existence, both of them female. Sudan made headlines last year when the Tinder dating app named him the “most eligible bachelor in the world” in a campaign to raise funds to save the subspecies.
Whilst the future of the northern white rhinoceros looks bleak there may be a glimmer of hope with the aid of advances in cellular science as researchers were able to save some of Sudan’s genetic material in the hopes of successfully artificially inseminating one of the two females left in the future.
Ole Pejeta: Sudan will be remembered for his unusually memorable life. In the 1970s, he escaped extinction of his kind in the wild when he was moved to Dvůr Králové Zoo. Throughout his existence, he significantly contributed to survival of his species as he brought forth two females;Najin (daughter)and Fatu (grand daughter) who are now the only female northern white rhino left in the planet.
Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta, said of Sudan:
“He was a gentle giant, his personality was just amazing and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him. But there was nothing mean about him.”